Tag Archives: recipes

Mama’s Baby Muffins

Photo credit: MarthaStewart.com

We all know by know that Mama doesn’t have a whole lot of time to cook. Not only that but cooking just cannot be fun with three screaming kidlets running all around you. Cooking…real cooking takes time, a glass of wine and a little Enya playing in the background. Thus, in Mama’s house we do what’s known as modified cooking. Not that the ingredients are all that different but the process is definitely different. The luxury of time has slipped away from Mama and while playing taxi cab, chef, laundress, housekeeper, teacher and referee is all well and good, at 5:30 p.m. we’re at a loss for dinner. That’s when the lightbulb went off as Mama was feeding CeCe a yummy spoonful of vegetable goop (organic goop but…) — breakfast for dinner!

Not only breakfast…but muffins! Not really a revelation for most people but Mama’s kids are keen breakfast eaters and not so much on anything else. So Mama decided that it was time to get all Deceptively Delicious on them and sneak some of CeCe’s yummy vegetable and fruit purees into some muffins to whip up a tasty, yet healthy meal. The best of three worlds when you think of it.

After consulting with Martha (yes, thee Martha…well, at least her iPad app of recipes), Mama found a muffin recipe that would serve as the base then whatever purees Mama had available would be substituted to make a healthy muffin. Right now Mama is loving the Ella’s Kitchen brand of baby food (available at Target) that is filled with lots of different organic vegetables and fruits like butternut squash, carrots, apples and prunes or spinach, apples and rutabagas. Mama must admit, Mama has never even had a rutabaga…have you? Or a parsnip? But the kids have!

So breakfast for dinner it is…and for snacks…and for on-the-go healthy meals…Mama is happy with the results (minus the crumbs…bring a napkin) and so are the kids. For an extra healthy meal pair with your favorite smoothie…mmmmm!

Mama’s Baby Muffins 

1 cup of your favorite Baby Food Pouch Puree (see Mama’s suggestions above)

1/2 cup of your favorite berries or fruit chopped into chunks (i.e. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango, apples)

1/3 cup of sugar

1 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup of Whole Wheat Flour (if you don’t have whole wheat then use more of the All-Purpose Flour)

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamom

1/2 cup of lowfat Buttermilk

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pan with muffin tin liners. Toss and mash together the chopped fruit and 1/3 cup of sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Next, stir in the buttermilk, olive oil, egg and vanilla. Stir until there are no lumps and then add your baby food pouch puree and chopped fruit. Stir together and divide evenly among the muffin tins. Bake 15-18 minutes until toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Yum, yum, yum…how do you make sure your kids eat healthy?

 

Dessert in five…!

First off, don’t keel over because you’re actually surprised that Mama has been here two days in a row and second, don’t get used to it! While Mama has every intention of life getting back to normal with the three, most of the time life trumps Mama’s actual plan. That’s okay…we’ll get there one of these days. What has returned to normal though, is the never-ending rush for last minute baking and crafts. Mama is always in need of a fast plan to take to the classroom for treats, to the neighbor’s house for an impromptu get together, a party…you get it. And with never enough time to actually plan for these events, you can imagine how we scramble around forging for food to take over because one should never show up empty handed (when in dire need…DO bring wine…Don’t bring a box of store bought cookies).

Usually Mama is so on top of things like this…always having a hostess gift on hand and stocked away in my closet of crafts and goodies. However, this year is a wash as Mama likes to say…as the stock pile has yet to be replenished but once a good sale comes along on candles, pretty serving dishes or something else fan-tab-u-lus then Mama will stock pile again for this next year. But nothing…nothing is as good as giving and receiving a homemade gift.


One thing that Mama’s Mama always had on hand in the fridge or freezer was COOL WHIP Whipped Topping because basically….you can use it to whip up something really yummy, really fast. We do the same thing in our house. Always keeping one handy in the freezer for those last minute desserts or if Mama is really planning ahead…we make some of our favorites like we did today.

Mama’s Five Minute COOL WHIP Dessert

We all know that Mama is semi-homemade so we take pound cake, slice it into 2 inch thick pieces, butter it on both sides, grill it for 2-3 minutes on each side, let cool for a minute. Then dollop COOL WHIP on top and then top it with strawberries and then….top it with chocolate sauce drizzle. It’s yummy and even the kids like it…must-be the extra butter we put on it!

OR if you’re feeling really crafty…

Mama’s COOL WHIP Fourth of July Trifle

Just this last holiday season Mama discovered that we didn’t own a Trifle dish…insanity, right?! They are so easy to make, taste so good and look pretty without having to roll out little animals and people out of fondant. For this dessert you’ll need to make three 9-inch yellow cakes from a box (because that’s how we do it around these parts). Bake according to directions and let cool. Once cool, crumble the cake into big chunks into a separate bowl. Take the Trifle dish and make one layer of cake chunks on the bottom, then add one generous layer of COOL WHIP, then add a layer of cut and hulled strawberries. For the next layer add another generous layer of COOL WHIP, then cake chunks, then COOL WHIP, then blueberries. For the top Mama likes to add a few mint springs and a few extra strawberries for decoration. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes to assemble once the cakes are baked. So easy and pretty to bring to a spring BBQ.

If all else fails….stop by the market, buy some COOL WHIP, a carton of fresh strawberries, plate them both up and bring them over for a yummy, homemade dessert. It’s what all the busy Mamas are doing these days :) What’s your favorite way to eat COOL WHIP?

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

It’s a Mama’s Night IN…!

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.

We really need to stop meeting like this…you know…so sporadically! It’s totally Mama’s fault…going to have a third baby and all but she’s so cute you can’t help but forgive her the late night feedings and the arms unable to type at the computer as much as Mama needs to. We’ll get through it…eventually! However one thing Mama does look forward to is a great MAMA’S NIGHT IN. Yes, most call it a Mama’s Night Out but this Mama much prefers the casual company of great friends in a comfy, cozy setting with homemade food, festive drinks and great conversation. It’s so much better than waiting for a table at a restaurant only to be squeezed into a place too small and then you can only talk to those directly next to you or in front of you, it’s too loud to hear anything and then dividing the bill at the end of the night…UGH. Again, why Mama prefers a night in as opposed to a night out.

And since it’s the holidays (yeah!), there is no better time to host a Mama’s Night In. It seems like too many months go by without Mama actually getting to see any friends and catching up on the gossip.  So Mama is spreading a little holiday cheer with some of her favorite Mamas and YOU!

Everyone does wine and cheese so Mama likes to do it up a little differently these days with innovative delectable eats and signature drinks…here’s a few of Mama’s favorite pairings for a great Mama’s Night In…

Martinis and Chocolates — yes, were talking Peppermint Martinis, Pomegranate Martinis and Choco-tinis along with some of your favorite bon-bons and truffles. Because really, what Mama doesn’t like these two paired together and seriously…we always eat the desserts anyways over congealed cheese (pick your calories wisely as Mama always says).

Hot Toddies and Hot Chocolate Bars — MMMM….more chocolate paired with alcohol — a perfect pairing. Did you know that they make a special edition Peppermint Kahlua Coffee Liquor for the holidays?! Try adding that to some hot chocolate for a holiday party! The Mamas will be singing “Bring me some figgy pudding!” with lampshades on their heads before you know it. Mama’s neighbor even sugar-rimmed the glasses last night…a great touch.

Cookie exchanges — one can never consume enough cookies during the holiday season — nor can they bake enough. Cookie exchanges are always a ton of fun and you come home with something you have never had before and a recipe to make them for your next function. It’s a great way to celebrate with the Mamas and you bring home gifts without spending any money!

White elephant gift exchange — always a hit during the holidays, the Mamas love to give and receive gifts. Have fun with this one and go for a funny but practical gift or something that you would love to get yourself like jewelry or a chic but budget-friendly purse. Don’t give a MUG — in fact, look for a post on this exact topic tomorrow!

Mama also prefers to do an open house — swing by when you can during a two to three hour period so be people don’t feel the pressure to stay. This year it’s going to be a breakfast/brunch hour open house with coffee and tea and crafts for the kids because well, while it’s nice to leave them at home…sometimes you just can’t go without them by your side. All are welcome…! Oh and what will Mama be serving you ask? Bundt Cake, of course…this Carmel Bundt Cake from Duncan Hines sounds and looks devine…no?!

How do you like to do a Mama’s Night In?

Remember to check out Duncan Hines’ website www.duncanhines.com to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

Is that a milk mustache…?

Exactly. What do smiling and California’s drastic budget cuts have to do with drinking milk? Well, these days a lot. Let Mama start from the beginning.

Mama went to public school, drinks milk and is a survivor…coming out on top with a college education, a business and also is lucky enough to stay at home with the kiddos. However, Mama did not go to public school when there was no budget for PE, yet a growing concern about childhood obesity. Mama did not have to forgo art, music or drama because there was no budget to pay for the teachers. Mama did not have a half day every week or a fall break in the middle of October so the state could save a few thousand dollars on payroll and other minor expenses. It was school from just after Labor Day in September to middle of June — no excuses, plenty of PE, plenty of art and no snow days (hey, Mama lives where the sun only shines!). These days it’s different. It’s concerning and it’s beyond Mama how one teacher can manage 30 kindergarteners in a class at one time and actually have them come away with learning something and also maintaining those that continue to have “potty accidents” and behavior issues.

In some cases, there’s not even enough staff to watch over the students during lunch and recess time resulting in bullying problems and lots of other things that you just don’t want your kids hearing about on the playground. People scrimp and save so they can live in a decent neighborhood with great public schools but even then…those schools are not immune from the budget cuts. There is no escaping it, unless you choose private school but it is for most people a huge expense that just isn’t in the budget. California’s public schools are counting on parent volunteers and PTA fundraising to cover some of these extra costs that have been eliminated from the school’s annual operating budget but sometimes it’s just not enough. With at least one parent working and sometimes two, it’s hard to find parents that can dedicate the time needed to volunteer in the classroom and also buy cookies, wrapping paper, carnival tickets or whatever the school happens to be selling to raise these much needed funds. In some schools libraries are no longer staffed — WHAT??? The library for goodness sake!

Mama is sure this is not just a California problem but for these purposes let’s talk Cali only. Okay, now what does all this have to do with MILK?? So glad you asked…let Mama explain!

Remember when Mama did that wonderful dairy farm trip last year and shared with you all the health benefits of milk and showed you how it gets from the cow to your glass…well, The California Milk Advisory Board in conjunction with Scholastic is sponsoring the Real Seal Appeal program to help fill the gap in California’s Public School budgets by awarding over $2 million in cash, books and prizes to qualifying Southern California Schools. That’s a whole lot of loot for a lot of schools! The top nine schools will be awarded cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000, and another 2,595 schools will receive $500 each. There’s also incentives for the kids too — each top nine school will also receive a Wii Fit game for every child in the classroom.* WOW!

Sounds great,  huh?! Here’s the details on how you can make sure your school is getting involved to win all that cash because we all know…THEY NEED IT!

  • NOW through December 31, 2011, kids, parents and teachers are encouraged to turn in their Real California Milk product seals. The teachers then mail in their seals for a chance to win the cash and prizes. The more seals collected means more of a chance to win!!
  • The Real California Milk seals can be found on all California dairy products including cheese, milk, ice cream, butter and yogurt. If you don’t see the seal (shown right), it probably means that it isn’t from California. Mama recommends to immediately put it back on the shelf and keep looking for the seal…hey, FREE cash for schools…!
  • The program applies to public elementary schools in Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. If your child attends a school in this area and you haven’t heard of the program yet, you’re encouraged to bring in a packet to your child’s principal, teacher and/or PTA to get the school involved in the contest. Remember every little bit counts when it comes to your child’s education! For more information on how to get a packet, visit www.scholastic.com and www.realcaliforniamilk.com.
  • For recipes and FREE coupons to get you started on collecting seals, visit www.realcaliforniamilk.com. Mama is so making these Pumpkin Nut and Chip Cookies
Mama thinks this is a no-brainer and kids L-O-V-E contests — especially when they will benefit from it. So get going, get involved and get your milk mustache on…after all it is Movember! MOOOOO!
*Up to 50 games
**This is a sponsored post but as you know Mama is not in the business of making money nor lying to you. Having said that, the money collected from this post will go directly to Lily-girl’s school so they can benefit from healthy eating habits too. Mama makes it a habit to practice what she preaches, don’t you?!

Pop it up…!

Another weekend has zipped by and what has Mama done to show for it…not a whole lot except for the memories and fun we had this weekend! Sometimes you just need those days when you absolutely get nothing done that you need to but you have a great time with the kids just enjoying each other laughing and playing. That’s what we did! We laughed and played to our heart’s content and snapped a few pictures to show for it. With the countdown to Baby #3 officially on, those times will be limited in the next few weeks so we might as well take advantage of them now. How was your weekend?

However, Mama knows that some organization is needed so next weekend it’s all business…but for now, let’s still take advantage of the fun we had this weekend by celebrating National Popcorn Month! Who doesn’t love eating popcorn?! Once upon a time people only ate it at the movies or while watching a movie at home but now it’s considered a healthy snack. Oh, and what about when you go to a street fair or some other event when all you smell is the KETTLE CORN! Mama swears they pump that smell through the air on purpose to just lure you in…no-one can resist a bag of kettle corn.

While there are lots of ways to enjoy your popcorn these days, Mama found a few more good reasons to get snacking on some delicious popcorn…

Make a popcorn bar — Mama is in charge of the holiday party at school this year and Mama is thinking we’re going to do a popcorn bar for the snack. After reading “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies” by Laura Numeroff, we’ll head over to the popcorn bar to fill individual popcorn boxes with our own popcorn snack mix. Make loads of popcorn and then on the side offer various mix-ins for the kids to choose from like raisins, cranberries, dried fruit, chocolate covered almonds or peanuts, pretzels, chocolate Teddy Grahams, peanut (or regular) M&Ms and cereal like Cherrios or Kix.

Spices — adding simple spices to your everyday popcorn can make all the difference in the world! For something sweet add a little bit of cinnamon and sugar or for something savory try cumin and chili powder or even lime and a little sea salt. While you can definitely mix and match your own spices, Mama likes to keep a few pre-made spices in the cupboard for late night snacking. Try the Set of 3 Spices from CrateandBarrel.com, $7.95.

Air popping — microwave popcorn has gotten a bad rap because of the chemicals in the bag that make it stay fresh and help it to pop. You can still do microwave popcorn but just make it yourself! Take a brown paper bag and fill it with 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels and close it tight. Set the microwave to the “popcorn” setting and you’ll have tasty air popped popcorn in just a few minutes!

Craft poppin’ -- popcorn is also good for crafting! You can paint it and glue it on construction paper to make a picture or you can string it with a thread and needle to make a garland. You can also use it make a bird feeder…lots and lots of ways to creatively use popcorn and the best part is you can eat it along the way!

What’s your favorite way to eat popcorn?

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